drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Before Ang Probinsyano: A Look Back at Nathaniel

It had been over three years since a teleserye not named ‘Ang Probinsyano’ aired after ‘TV Patrol’.

So many dramas have aired on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida during that span, including a combined seven teleseryes that starred the Big Three love teams in KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine. But at the end of the day, there was still one constant, and that was the Coco Martin-starred action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

After all, the series will turn three on the final week of September and will be closing in on 800 episodes by October. But lost amid the hoopla and the longevity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was its long-forgotten predecessor ‘Nathaniel’, the last series to air on ABS-CBN’s 7:50 p.m. slot before Coco Martin and his entourage took over.

‘Nathaniel’ starred Marco Masa in the title role, and his parents were played by Gerald Anderson and Shaina Magdayao. The supporting cast of ‘Nathaniel’ also included Isabelle Daza in her debut project with ABS-CBN.

The series ran from April 20 to September 25, 2015 and aired a total of 115 episodes. Not only that, ‘Nathaniel’ dominated the ratings game as it won past ‘Pari Ko’y’ and the 2015 remake of ‘MariMar’ in its timeslot.

So where are the series’ stars now? ‘Nathaniel”s lead protagonist Marco Masa has not had a major project since then but he did host ‘Team Yey’ for a short time and recently appeared on the second season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’.

Shaina Magdayao is currently part of the Kapamilya afternoon series ‘Asintado’. And as for Gerald Anderson, he was recently seen on ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with former on-screen partner Kim Chiu and is now playing semi-pro basketball with the MPBL’s Marikina Shoemakers.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ reaching high episode levels not seen since the original ‘Mara Clara’ in the 1990s, it is easy to forget that it succeeded one of ABS-CBN’s most popular family-oriented dramas. That said, revisiting a gem like ‘Nathaniel’ will help viewers look back at a time when child stars used to rock Primetime Bida’s leadoff slot.

All episodes of ‘Nathaniel’ are currently available on iWant TV.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talent show, television

GMA’s The Clash Endures Poor Reviews and Bad Ratings After Two Weeks

Welp!

Four episodes in and ‘The Clash’ does not look too enticing to say the least. The GMA singing competition show is off to a poor start, both critically and commercially.

During the weekend of July 7, ‘The Clash”s ratings were at 19.4 and 19.6% on Saturday and Sunday respectively. On the other hand, ABS-CBN’s ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ season 2 ended with 32.2 and 34.1%.

But it is not just the underwhelming ratings that hurt ‘The Clash’. From the moment it aired viewers complained about the bad lighting, shaky camera angles, awful sound quality and fake audience reactions.

Much of the blame was pointed to director Louie Ignacio. Despite the fact that he is one of the most in-demand directors in television, people can’t help but think why this man had to be at the helm of ‘The Clash’ when in fact he had been the culprit for the downfall of ‘Party Pilipinas’ several years ago.

And while GMA claimed that ‘The Clash”s pilot episode topped Twitter’s trending topics, the overwhelmingly negative reception to the program muted this achievement. But things only got worse for ‘The Clash’.

The second weekend of ‘The Clash’ last July 14-15 saw the program dip to 17.3% and 17.6% in the ratings. Meanwhile, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ remained consistent, posting figures of 33.4 and 32.4%.

There were still some negative reactions from netizens but the impact was less considerable from the first weekend. As a result, ‘The Clash’ became a non-factor on Twitter whereas ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ got a boost thanks to Marco Masa’s winning portrayal of Enrique Gil.

The good news for ‘The Clash’ is that the competition still has a long way to go. Judging them as a flop after only four episodes may be a tad premature.

But how much longer can the viewers tolerate a mess of a talent show? Unless certain improvements are to be made in terms of presentation, public sentiment against ‘The Clash’ will only grow from hereon.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

Born Out of Desperation: GMA’s The Clash Premieres This Weekend

Desperation has become a theme for GMA in recent years.

Weekend primetime, in particular, is more of a mess for the Kapuso network than a blessing. After all, ABS-CBN’s high-rating franchised talent shows like ‘The Voice’, ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar’ and ‘Pinoy Boyband Superstar’ has left GMA in a wretched state, always one step behind from the other.

And even when GMA tried to produce a talent show, they tend to make some unwise decisions and avoid any sort of competition against ABS-CBN’s own. Remember when they aired ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘To the Top’ on the not-so convenient late-night slots?

Fast forward to now and it looks like GMA has learned its lesson and is finally poised to give ABS-CBN a dose of its own medicine. Starting this weekend the network will introduce ‘The Clash’, an all-new singing competition to be hosted by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

A total of 62 aspirants selected from several nationwide auditions will compete in intense one-on-one battles to determine the country’s next singing sensation. Judges Lani Misalucha, Ai-ai delas Alas and Christian Bautista will evaluate the performance of each individual and reveal the verdict in front of the audience.

Also part of ‘The Clash’ are Joyce Pring and Andre Paras. The two will provide some news on the preparations of each aspirant and give updates on their performance.

Having learned from the poor reception that ‘Bet ng Bayan’ and ‘To the Top’ earned, GMA made a smart move with ‘The Clash’. The show would air not only on Saturdays but on Sundays as well, and in a more convenient timeslot.

But that does not mean they will have a fighting chance against ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’. With the latter show currently earning ratings in the 30s, ‘The Clash’ should have its hands full dealing with this tough opponent.

Still, Kapuso viewers will be more than happy to see GMA produce a singing competition show once more. This is an opportunity that GMA is itching to do, and out of desperation, they delivered.

Now it is up to ‘The Clash’ to make an impact. But will it be more than enough to make the competition more meaningful?

‘The Clash’ airs every Saturday after ‘Pepito Manaloto’ and Sunday after ‘Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko’ on GMA.

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cable TV, entertainment, movies, news, Philippines, politics, public affairs, Sports, television

Philippine Cable and Digital Channels Face Issue of Redundancy

Hero is one of several cable channels in the Philippines that was shut down this year due to redundancy in content. (Logo courtesy of Creative Programs Inc.)

Redundancy has become a common theme for cable and digital channels in the Philippines.

In the first half of 2018 alone, viewers witnessed a closure of numerous cable channels in the country. On the local side of the spectrum, there was Hero, TAG, ABS-CBN Regional Channel, CT and 2nd Avenue, and on the international front there was Toonami.

There were also some rebrandings and resurrections of several channels as well. CPI made LIGA the second coming of Balls in time for the FIFA World Cup (replacing ARC, TAG and Hero in the process) while rebranding Lifestyle into Metro Channel, and then the MVP Group converted Bloomberg Philippines into One News.

So why do these things happen to our beloved cable and digital channels? The most cited reason is financial constraints, but it goes deeper than that.

When two channels air similar content with one another, redundancy happens. This is exactly the case that befell the likes of Hero, TAG, CT, 2nd Avenue and Toonami because they feature similar themes and genres with one or several channels.

Hero and Toonami, for example, became victims of cord-cutters and other channels such as Cartoon Network, Boomerang, AniPlus, Animax and even Yey!, which show some anime and action series as well. Same with CT and 2nd Avenue who share some of the programming with sister channels Jack TV and ETC.

Going further back, CPI shut down Velvet in 2014 and moved some of its content over to Lifestyle. Four years later, Lifestyle was rebranded into Metro Channel and is now essentially a second coming of Velvet.

There is also LIGA, which was launched for the FIFA World Cup but is expected to face similar redundancy issues as Balls since its only other source of content are events that air on ABS-CBN S+A. Finally, the rebrand from Bloomberg Philippines to One News has made AksyonTV (a former news channel-turned-T5N clone) redundant, something the MVP Group must address moving forward.

However, redundancy is not limited to cable channels alone. Yey!, for example, has a movie block called ‘Kid Sine’, but some of the films shown here are also aired on sister channel CineMo (under the CineFantasya and CineKomedya blocks).

Yey! also airs reruns of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ while CineMo rebroadcasts ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and ‘Bagani’ on weekends. Such reruns should have been exclusive to Jeepney TV.

These are just some of the examples that face cable and digital channels today. Considering the competitive nature of this business, trying to stay unique and distinct in terms of content is not as easy as it looks.

So the best that these channels can do right now is to remain innovative and wide-eyed to the audience while keeping themselves afloat. This juggling act may be difficult, but when done properly, they can stay on the air for a long period of time.

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entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, reality show, songs, talent show, television

In 100 Words: Lip-Sync Battle Philippines Season 3 to Conclude This Week

That didn’t take long.

Another 14 episodes have come and gone for ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’, whose season finale will air this Sunday night. But much like the first two seasons, there is not much to cheer about.

Premiering last April 1, ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ season 3 struggled right out of the gate, losing to ‘Pilipinas Got Talent’ season 6 and ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’ season 2 by wide margins. The show’s lack of hype on social media in comparison to its competitors also did not help.

Sunday’s season finale will see Ai-ai delas Alas take on John Estrada for the belt. But with yet another poor performance, will the curtain fall on ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ for good?

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action, anime, dance show, drama, entertainment, fantasy, game show, live events, Philippines, reality show, Sports, talent show, talk show, television

FTT Year 2017 in Review: The Hot or Not Stories That Define the Year in Media (Part III)

Another year is about to end. But before the calendar flips to 2018, here is a look back at the year that was in television and radio. This article looks back at some of the Hot or Not moments that define the Philippine media this year.

If you missed out on Part I and Part II of this series, click on the highlighted link for more information.

Here is Part III of the four-part series. These stories are arranged in no particular order.

HOT: Ang Probinsyano

Year II of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was no different from Year I. Despite questions surrounding its quality for a series that has run for two years and counting, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ continued to dominate the primetime landscape, often reaching 40% or better some nights.

Even as the likes of Maja Salvador, Bela Padilla and Albert Martinez depart, ‘Ang Probinsyano’ soldiered on with new additions such as former GMA stars Aljur Abrenica and Louise delos Reyes. The series was also rewarded with yet another extension that will last until an undetermined date in 2018 (barring another extension).

NOT: Ang Probinsyano’s Opponents

Meanwhile, four different opponents from the Kapuso network tried to take down ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its lengthy run of excellence. Unfortunately, neither ‘Encantadia’, ‘Alyas Robin Hood’, ‘Mulawin vs. Ravena’ nor ‘Super Ma’am’ were able to take Coco Martin and company down.

None of the four teleseryes breached the 20% mark and worse, the disparity between ‘Ang Probinsyano’ and its opponent is around 20% or better. With such a large deficit GMA should start thinking of a new strategy this early or wait for ‘Ang Probinsyano’ to end in order to take advantage of this new opportunity (too bad there’s no end date yet).

HOT: 2016 Miss Universe

The 2016 Miss Universe was held in the Philippines last January 30 and was simulcast on ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA and Solar Entertainment channels. The collaboration marked just the second time that an event of national interest was aired in unison among the country’s broadcast giants; the last being the Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing fight two years ago.

France’s Iris Mittenaere was crowned the 2016 Miss Universe while the host’s representative Maxine Medina finished among the top 6. However, she was unable to complete an entire year’s reign as this year’s Miss Universe was held last November 26 with South Africa’s Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters winning the said pageant.

NOT: Pacquiao vs. Horn and the sport of boxing

The declining interest in Manny Pacquiao continued as he fought Jeff Horn in July. The end result was a unanimous decision victory for Horn, some bloodshot eyes from Pacquiao and lukewarm reception from boxing fans in the country.

It was a poor year overall for boxing on Philippine television. Despite the efforts of ALA Promotions to promote the sport via its Pinoy Pride series, the year saw the end of ABS-CBN Sports’ partnership with Top Rank Boxing (coinciding with Nonito Donaire ending ties with Bob Arum’s promotion) and the expected cancellation of ‘Blow by Blow’ on TV5.

HOT: Magandang Buhay

2017 proved to be a coming-out party of sorts for ‘Magandang Buhay’ as the show became a ratings hit each and every morning. The news is an encouraging one for ABS-CBN despite the fact that the show airs at 8:00 a.m., which is typically ‘dead’ time for viewership.

With the trio of Melai Cantiveros, Jolina Magdangal and Karla Estrada, plus some impressive selection of guests, it is no secret that this talk show has become the talk of the town. With all due respect to Kris Aquino, the trio of Melai, Jolina and Karla should now inherit the ‘queens of talk’ mantra considering ‘Magandang Buhay”s success.

NOT: GMA’s Animes and The Lolas’ Beautiful Show

The traditional morning powerhouse that is GMA’s Astig Authority suddenly became vulnerable with the rise of ‘Magandang Buhay’. Even though the network redubbed ‘Voltes V’ and ‘Daimos’ this year with a host of celebrities from their stable, it failed to prevent the inevitable.

One talk show that would have helped is ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’, hosted by Wally Bayola, Jose Manalo and Paolo Ballesteros in their alter-egos as Nidora, Tinidora and Tidora. However, the show’s status as a TAPE-produced show (TAPE programs are only allowed an 11:30-2:30 timeslot on GMA most afternoons) prevented it from seriously challenging ‘Magandang Buhay’.

It also didn’t help that ‘The Lolas’ Beautiful Show’ is losing to the morning drama ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ on a regular basis. Perhaps GMA should loosen the reins a bit to give the lolas of ‘Eat Bulaga’ a chance to go up against the momshies of ‘Magandang Buhay’.

HOT: ABS-CBN Reality/Talent Shows

Reality and talent shows continue to give ABS-CBN plenty of reasons to celebrate. This year’s winners are:

Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 – Maymay Entrata

Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids – Awra Briguela

I Can Do That – Wacky Kiray

The Voice Teens Philippines – Jona Soquite

Currently on the network’s weekend primetime menu are ‘Little Big Shots’ and ‘I Can See Your Voice’, both of which continue to excel and trend among viewers. If 2018 is of any indication, then even more excitement awaits ABS-CBN as it introduces either new seasons of existing reality/talent shows or new programs.

NOT: All-Star Videoke

A poor man’s version of the popular ‘All-Star K’ was introduced to GMA last September. Unfortunately, ‘All-Star Videoke’ failed to live up to the standards of its more successful sibling.

GMA could have used this opportunity to bring back ‘Lip-Sync Battle Philippines’ or acquire ‘Killer Karaoke’. Instead, they rehashed an original Filipino concept that did not work out, and with all due respect to Betong Sumaya and Solenn Heussaff, they are no Allan K and Jaya in that regard.

Part IV of this four-part series is coming up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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